I’m an actress. I travel for a living, no biggie right? All bets were off and the game totally changed when my daughter was born. My daughter is 23 months old and I had never left her before. Then I signed a contract to go on a day trip to Houston to film a movie…without her! My plane took off at 6am but by 10pm that night I would be back in L.A.
24 hours before I was scheduled to leave I had a full out panic attack, which followed by an anxiety, attack. Forget the fact I have baby brain and I am having a hard time remembering my lines. That would have been pressure enough, but that I could handle. Leaving my child was something I couldn’t handle. I was ready to give them my deposit back and for the first time ever breach a contract and quit a film. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave her. Getting on a plane without her and going 1500 miles away where anything could happen seemed horrible. There could be an earthquake. Or the sun could fall from the sky. Basic fears.
I called my mom and muttered, “I can’t do it… I just can’t do it!!” She started to laugh and with a calming whisper said, “Now you know how I’ve felt my entire life. Baby I understand.” Those words hit my core.
Here I was, mid 30’s, still calling my mom the second my plane landed and then again when I checked in the hotel to let her know my exact location. For 35 years I’ve traveled endlessly for work. This is the first time I ever thought about a plane crashing or worried about any sort of technical hiccup. Thirty minutes on the phone with my mom completely brought me back to reality and I was ready. I packed my purse with everything I needed and prepared my daughter for mommy’s departure. When the time came my daughter gave me a kiss and said, “See you later.” My mom gave me a big hug and winked at me as I walked out the door. When I got to the car I had a text, “Everything will be fine I promise.”
I’m a grown woman and my mom’s promise still means everything to me.
I got to the airport and boarded the plane with tears in my eyes while I prayed the entire take off.
I had a wonderful time and had no issue remembering my lines during filming. It was wonderful being back at work and doing what I love. When my scenes were over I went right back to the airport. On my way home there was a beautiful, curly-haired little girl I will never forget. She looked at me and gave me a big smile. I felt like it was God smiling, telling me everything would be alright. This time I wasn’t worried about the flight. I was ready to go home and see my own curly-haired child.
I got back pretty late but walking through the door and seeing my daughter peacefully sleeping next to Grandma was one of the happiest moments of my life. She woke up, looked at me and said, “Mommy you came back.” I wrapped her little arms around my neck. Through tears I said, “Of course honey, mommy always comes back.”
And I will.